Justin Abelman was born and raised in Johannesburg. He started painting at the age of 10. On matriculating he studied graphic design for three years at the Johannesburg School of Art. On completing his studies he worked as a designer in both Johannesburg and London for a leading advertising agency.
His international travels have taken him to, amongst other countries, Eastern Europe and America, where he was greatly influenced by the Naïve School of Painting.
He has participated in several group exhibitions and in 1983 had his first solo exhibition. Following a successful exhibition in Greenwich Village, New York in 1984, he has works hanging in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto, Stockholm, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro, Vienna and London.
Subsequently he has held many one man exhibitions in Johannesburg and Cape Town, resulting in a vast array of commissions from private buyers as well as gallery owners.
His work illuminates the Wooltru boardroom in Cape Town, as well as Virgin Airways offices in South Africa. He has had work auctioned at Christies in London, and has painted two pictures for Swedish actress Britt Ekland for her private collection in Los Angeles.
His paintings have graced the cover of Readers Digest and adorn the walls of one of Johannesburg’s leading restaurants. Eight of his works have been reproduced as a series of up-market greeting cards.
The popularity of his art is understandable. He brings ease and modesty to his work, planting the seeds for an intimate and celebratory way of seeing the contemporary world.